Anger on weak role for child watchdog

Charities have reacted with disappointment after the Government decided not to strengthen the role of Children's Commissioner.

Amendments to the Children Bill passed last week mean that instead of having the power to protect children's rights, the commissioner will now only be able to "promote awareness of the views and interests of children".

No other commissioner in Europe has such a limited role.

Cathy Evans, assistant director of policy at the Children's Society said: "Instead of being a champion of children's rights, the commissioner will now just be a big ear."

NSPCC director and chief executive Mary Marsh echoed these sentiments.

She said: "The Government has a proposed a Commissioner who is by far the weakest in the UK."

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